G5 ministers to sign anti-terror cross-border deal

14th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

14 March 2005, MADRID-Dealing with the threat of terrorism will top the agenda of interior ministers from the G5 member states in the southern Spanish city of Granada.

14 March 2005

MADRID-Dealing with the threat of terrorism will top the agenda of interior ministers from the G5 member states in the southern Spanish city of Granada.

Ministers from Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain will  seek to deepen cross-border cooperation against terrorism, illegal immigration and organised crime during the two-day meeting.

The ministers' meeting comes just three days after Spain marked the first anniversary of the Madrid train bombings in which 191 people were killed in the worst terrorist attack in Europe since the bombing of a Pan Am jet over Lockerbie, Scotland, in December 1988.

Those attacks, attributed to Islamic extremists sympathetic to Al-Qaeda, have hardened the focus of the anti-terrorism struggle across Europe.

The ministers- Jose Antonio Alonso for the Spanish hosts, Charles Clarke for Britain, Dominique de Villepin of France, Germany's Otto Schily and Italy's Giuseppe Pisanu- are due to sign a declaration on combating terrorism, sources said.

They are also to underline the need to boost the exchange of information between their respective countries, Spanish government sources said at the weekend.

G5 meetings are informal and the decisions taken by the forum are not legally binding but nonetheless serve as a yardstick for EU states in general.

Increasing cooperation across the G5 states in battling terrorism will include easing joint access to each other's databases and sharing suspects' lists, the Spanish sources said.

The Madrid train bombings, as well as the September 9/11 attacks in the United States in 2001, have shown that people implicated in the preparation and execution of such acts of terrorism were either living in or else moving around Europe without any coordinated monitoring of their movements.

The ministers want to draw up a judicial framework for expelling individuals suspected of fomenting terrorism.

Currently, the legal process varies widely from state to state.

In France, expulsion can be swift, but in Spain, the process is far more complex.

Upgrading methods of monitoring airline passenger lists and a system of alerting authorities to theft of stocks of explosives, as happened prior to the Madrid blasts, are also on the agenda, as is reinforcing the European law enforcement organisation, Europol.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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